ROAD vol.14 Evacuees' Short Comments
by Voices from the Field Admin - Monday, 30 September 2013, 10:01 AM



Read the prologue to the evacuees' comments listed below

I’m running two air-conditioners. I can’t open the windows because of the fragrance outside. You know, they have cows and pigs around here. I’m sick of the cost of the air-conditioning.(A man in his 50s, temporary housing in Otamamura, Jul. 15, 2012)

Even in summer I appreciate the ashiyu footbath service, because I sometimes feel unwell from using the air-conditioning. (A woman in her 70s, temporary housing in Too, Jul. 27, 2012)

It’s such a hot day today, isn’t it? It was so hot last night that I couldn’t sleep till midnight. I thought last summer was especially hot, but so is this summer. We often wear sandals in summer, right? So I painted my toenails to make them look pretty. The nail polish from Daiso (a 100 yen shop) is cheap, but it wears off easily and needs multiple coats. I got this one for 1500 yen at Usui Department Store. Why don’t you try it, too? (A woman in her 70s, temporary housing, in Miharumachi, Jul. 28, 2012)

 (When asked about the vegetables growing around her temporary house,) Yes, I grow cucumbers, tomatoes and eggplants. When I have a big harvest, I share with my neighbors. The tomatoes started to turn red after they got more sunlight. There are many ways to enjoy eating eggplants. It’s tasty when you grill them, but I also steam them. When you fry them, they become too high in calories. It’s amazing that such small seeds grow into big plants and produce so much. (A woman in her 70s, Kamaishi temporary housing, Jul. 28, 2012)

I enjoy bon dancing! They usually have the dance event in front of the train station nearby where I used to live. I didn’t feel like going there after my house was demolished in March. But I decided to go there after a long time. I take a walk for 45 minutes in the evening nowadays, despite the heat.(A woman in her 70s, Yamamoto temporary housing, Jul. 29, 2012)

 Tomorrow, I am participating in a marathon relay race. I look forward to it though I am not good at it. My teacher is running, too. I have joined the tennis club. I wanted to do something, so I’ve been going to tennis club practice even during summer holiday. Oh, the water feels good. (The foot bath was done with cold water.) I didn’t get to go anywhere last summer, either, and I am not sure about this year yet.(A boy in his teens, Shichigahama temporary housing, Jul. 29, 2012)

My relatives with whom I was staying after the disaster strongly suggested me to decline moving into the temporary housing and just live with them, but, you know, I can’t live my own life in somebody else’s house. Just after I moved here (the temporary housing), I used to come home to find nobody waiting for me. I felt terrible. Now it’s better, because two of my sons are with me and I keep busy cooking for them. Still, I guess I’ll have this pain in my heart all through my life. It’s sad to be washed away, and to be left behind, as well. (A woman in her 60s)

Only two out of 40 houses in my previous neighborhood survived the tsunami. I guess the ones living in the houses that remained must feel terrible, too.(A woman in her 50s)

I had about 300 letters received from junior high students with whom I corresponded, and diaries I had kept since the age of 15 till the day before the tsunami. They were all washed away. (A man in his 70s) 

I cannot sleep more than 2 – 3 hours every night. I live alone, so I think too much. I take sleeping pills, otherwise I would have a nervous breakdown. I feel get energy from ashiyu. (A man in his 70s)

I am so happy that the ashiyu takes my tiredness away! I always feel fatigued from looking after my child(ren) all day. Everything my child(ren) had to play with was washed away. (A woman in her 30s)

Today I came to receive the photos of my children taken by the volunteers that have been on display here. We were able to recover many photos of my 25 year-old after the tsunami, because they had been stored in an inner part of my house. But photos of this child (the one standing next to her) and my middle child were never found. They were washed away because we used to leave those photos out at home and viewed them all the time. (A woman in her 40s)